House Speaker Newt Gingrich is gaining quickly on Mitt Romney in South Carolina after the former Massachusetts governor stumbled in a Monday night debate, according to a new NBC News/Marist poll
of the GOP contest in that state.
Gingrich is within 10 points of Romney, with the former speaker gaining considerable ground on the GOP front-runner after a strong debate showing.
The two-day survey of 684 likely primary voters — conducted Monday and Tuesday — shows Romney with 34 percent of likely Republican primary voters in South Carolina, including those who are undecided but leaning toward a candidate.
Gingrich is at 24 percent, Texas Rep. Ron Paul at 16 percent, former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum at 14 percent, and Texas Gov. Rick Perry at 4 percent.
The drops for Romney come as he fumbled in Monday night's debate on whether he would release his tax records (he says in April) and after Gingrich got a standing ovation for taking on moderator Juan Williams over questions about his remarks on food-stamp recipients and janitorial work for poor children.
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